Tuesday, January 11th, 2022

Lola Young – Fake

Still time for her to get a Wikipedia page, or at least a named Wikipedia disambiguation, rather than “For the singer, see John Lewis & Partners Christmas advert”…


Oliver Maier: I’m inclined to call it ironic that the purportedly anti-consumerist “Fake” sounds tailor-made to appear in a trailer for the next season of Peaky Blinders (or that when I googled “Lola Young” most of the top results are about her singing a song for a John Lewis Christmas ad), but the song’s sentiment is so feeble to begin with that accusing it of hypocrisy dignifies it more than it deserves. What Lola Young offers musically is more warmed-over post-Winehouse soul that I find it impossible to care about.

Scott Mildenhall: In 1962, incoming superstar belter Helen Shapiro starred in a British movie musical called It’s Trad, Dad! Sixty years later, the nation’s music industry is still making that film. But why not? Long-codified as this stuff is, Lola Young does it well: characterful vocals, unusually off-kilter lyrics about fish and sun cream, and even not-quite-Negativland sound collage (Barry Scott included). Like the adverts say, it works.

Jeffrey Brister: A passable Amy Winehouse impression is miles better than lots of stuff! I’m a simple person. Give me a compelling vocal performance, give me an arrangement that makes sense, give me a song that understands the basics of good songwriting and performance, and I’m all over it.

Micha Cavaseno: Winehouse by way of A&R scheming to get a placement on a movie trailer, and very good at being wholly bad at providing a kiss-off of resilience and indifference to the world around you. In a way, it’s fitting that the song is the least effortful copy of a copy of music that was running it’s course more than a decade ago, because it’s facile for all its soul-type gestures.

Alfred Soto: Had Tarantino ripoffs still been a thing in, say, 2008, we might’ve watched a montage with grisly violence which this ersatz Winehousery would’ve soundtracked. 

Katherine St Asaph: Sure, this rips off Duffy ripping off Adele ripping off Amy ripping off the whole soul genre, and does so a full decade past when it was trendy. But as I languish in Omicron hell, I try to reward things that make me laugh, and I sure did laugh after hearing Lola count SPF-50 among the fake shit she’s ascended past. Finally, we’re free of wearing sunscreen!

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Tremendously competent and well-sung, but ultimately only postures at something real rather than actually providing it. 

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: A truly baffling set of nouns.

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